“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3). Isn’t that good news? I so often sing a song of griping or grumbling, things God detests. God is in the praise of His people, Psalm 22 tells us. He draws near when we praise Him, not because He has an ego that needs praise. We are the ones who need to get out of ourselves and connect with the only One who can change our song. “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day” (Psalm 96:1-2). He wants us to declare what He has done for us, because we can’t help ourselves. This is a worshipful discipline to God. Songs come from the heart or center of our being. Paul says in Ephesians 5:19 “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God our Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The psalms are songs or hymns to God proclaiming what God has done. “You have turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent” (Psalm 30:11-12). This psalm speaks of turning grief to joy. This is a difficult verse or concept. I once led a program called GriefShare, a support group for people grieving the loss of a loved one. The motto was “Mourning to Joy.” Several distressed people stormed out of the group when they heard this seemingly insensitive thought. But God is a heart changer as we reach out to Him and other godly people for help. In fact, the Bible says to sing our praise and thanksgiving to God in our pain. Perhaps Psalm 100 is the loudest proclamation of this word.
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
God is faithful in His lovingkindness towards us. Therefore we should enter into his gates with thanksgiving and praise. Sing a new song!